We cut the cord!!!

This is an old article that was originally published in the Register-News.

If you aren’t aware, cutting the cord refers to not subscribing to satellite or cable television. Usually people who cut their cord keep the Internet, so the term isn’t exactly correct. Some time back I wrote about different options for ‘cutting the cord’ like watching television on the Internet, using Netflix or Amazon, and (gasp) getting an antenna.

Using all of these different services was something to write about and many people are actually going through the process every day. Our family had never seriously considered removing cable though because the bill stayed at about $100 each month including Internet and we put it into our entertainment budget.

Recently our cable company decided to move to a one size fits all billing model that does not allow for budget packages and instead puts emphasis on bundles with TV, Internet, and phone service. My wife and I each have cellular phones and only watch a few shows regularly so the 30% increase last month was enough to push us into cutting cable completely.

Make no mistake – we kept our fast Internet connection. The television and DVR subscription were canceled immediately though. We already subscribe to Netflix and have Amazon Prime (some free movies). Now we have added Hulu Plus and plan to use Redbox more.

Hulu Plus ($8) is the only cost addition since we already had Netflix ($8) and Amazon Prime ($40/year student). So our monthly cost is a net savings of $77 per month. It sounds great at first but there are other expenses to be sure you know about.

First, you need a box to watch Internet services with on your TV. Our Blu-ray player does most of the services, but I wanted something with more choices. My research led me to Roku ($99) which can stream all services above plus HBOGo, Epix, MLB.tv, and other channels. My total cost thanks to OneSaleADay.com and already owning a Google TV was $165. I managed to snag one of the top-end Rokus for $65.

Also, there is the cost of an antenna to receive over the air programming. I have a long-range model saved on Amazon and plan to buy it soon at a cost of about $75. Plus, we watch several shows on AMC and SyFy which are not available except to buy through Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play. Those will run us $30 each season per show for a season pass (the whole season).

Grand total with antenna, Rokus, and season passes we will spend about $360 and save $770. That means at the end of this year we will have a net savings of $310 unless I also get a MLB.tv package to stream to the Roku (and anywhere else). That will cost me $130 more.

Next year we will save about $700 with all one-time costs out of the way. That’s not a whole lot, but it is money better in our pocket than the cable company’s coffers. Next time I’ll update you on how our house does getting digital signal with an antenna.

Have you cut the cable? Do you know of any online television or movie outlets I missed? Let me know on Twitter @DanVoyles or email me using AskAGeek@register-news.com